Hitting the Market
Whether your plan is to sell your book or give it as a value-added premium, it’s a shame to invest the time to build a resource that no one is going to read. Book ideas aren’t different from other product ideas. They need market research to validate their worth.
No idea is a great just because someone had it.
It becomes a great idea when we prove it solves problem or meets a need in a new and remarkable way.
If you start from scratch or work from your own blog, a trip over to Amazon for research is the first place you should go once your idea begins to take form. Because I was new to Phil’s blog, it took time to get to that single — Hey this might be it! — idea. So we’re on our way over that right now.
Research at Amazon, the Data Giant
Amazon is not just a place to buy things. It’s an incredible source of information about what is selling in the book world right now — updated every hour. So let’s explore some of the informationa that Amazon can offer to help with Phil’s upcoming book.
Here’s what I did.
1. I went to Books>Business & Investing>Mangement & Leadership. I read through 200 titles. These books were primarily focused toward organizational leadership. Not where Phil’s book belongs.
2. I moved over to Reference>Careers. that’s where 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey and Getting Things Done by David Allen are. Those two books are more in keeping with Phil’s new book. I read 200 more titles and printed them out for future reference. We’ll use these to test our title against.
3. I’m sure you know about the search inside feature. (If you click on Phil’s book up here you can go there to look through it.) I looked inside a few books in the same category to get an idea of what was currently out there.
4. I checked the product details of several books as well. The details included the trim size, the page count, and the price among others.
5. Then, I checked the concordance and the text stats. The concordance is a tag cloud of the 100 words most often used in his book. Click each screenshot to get the enlarged view.
6. Finally I repeated the steps for the categories listed for each title I checked. Keep in mind I was doing this for existing books I thought represented books Phil’s new book might compete against. Each title I studied brought up a different list of categories.
Recording that information arms us with the depth and breadth of the market. As I keep organizing pages, we’ll work toward a book title that fits the content and the market too.
That’s the raw data. In the next post we’ll talk about book reviews, why you want your book to be with — not away from — books like yours, and why cool titles often lose.
Now I’m back to work, sorting pages for Phil.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Liz can help you find or make a book from your archives, click on the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.
Bookcraft 2.0: Find a Book in Your Archives the Way a Publisher Would
Bookcraft 2.0 Archive Mining: How to Get From Working Book Title to Rough Cut Content
Bookcraft 2.0 Why Read the Date Archives Not the Categories?
Bookcraft 2.0: How Many Words Does It Take to Make a Book?
Bookcraft 2.0: The 90% Rule of Repurposing Content